“It was too hard to get around in here.” Mother-in-law has kitchen island removed without permission while housesitting

Mary Duncan

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a family member who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.

Sometimes I try to imagine what it would be like to marry my boyfriend and have his mother, Luanne, become my mother-in-law. I already know Luanne doesn’t care for me, as I am thirteen years younger than my boyfriend’s ex and she thinks her son left his wife to satiate his need for a younger woman. I know this is not the case and I am comfortable with our age difference, but it definitely makes Luanne a bit suspicious.

When we visit her house, which is not frequent, she usually does not make eye contact with me when we talk, and I can’t say she has any real warmth towards me.

On the other hand, I think Luanne is a very smart, stable, rational woman and I don’t think that she would disrupt our lives if I end up marrying her son.

My sister Grace married her new husband Rich this past summer, and recently they traveled to Europe for about month, taking an expensive, luxurious honeymoon. Grace asked me to dog sit for her fur baby, but I can’t stand dogs and declined, so they enlisted Rich’s mother-in-law Regina to house and dog sit for them instead.

Rich is a realtor and makes a great living, so he bought his first house young, and it is a nice one. The kitchen, the heart of the home as they say, was Grace’s favorite place to play with recipes and experiment with new dinners. She is the kind of person who actually bakes for fun, as a hobby, and will give her cookies, sweet breads, and cupcakes away to neighbors, just to have a reason to bake.

Well, when Rich and Grace arrived home after their vacation, they were stunned when they entered their house and found that their large, functional, and beloved kitchen island was gone.

“What…what happened, mom?” Rich asked Regina.

“Oh, you know how hard a time I have getting around with my walker,” she said, banging her walker’s four legs on their tile floor.

“So you removed our kitchen island!?” Grace exclaimed. “How did this happen?”

“I just called my old contractor friend and had him come remove it and replace the flooring with the extra tiles he found in your basement,” Regina said, then threw up her hands in frustration when Grace and Rich just stared at her in horror.

“What was I supposed to do for a month? It was too hard to get around in here!”

Grace was seething with anger and retreated to the bedroom so Rich could deal with his mother and get her out of their house. Later, Grace said it was coming out of Rich’s paycheck to have the island replaced immediately, and that his mother would never house-sit for them again.

“I can’t say that I blame you,” Rich agreed.

How would you have reacted to what Regina did?

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I write about the weird complexities of relationships to make a better life for me and my daughter through words. https://ko-fi.com/maryduncan

Connecticut State

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